Ali 'The Captain' Carter has revealed he aims to be flying high this season after taking to the skies in his newly resprayed aeroplane.
The double world finalist admits he is feeling good about the campaign ahead after topping Group 19 at the Championship League earlier this week as unbeaten group winner to reach the last 32.
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The Essex man enjoyed a 3-1 success against Michael Georgiou – including breaks of 61, 79 and 57 – a 3-0 victory over Sydney Wilson with knocks of 71, 60 and 63 and a 2-2 draw with Dominic Dale in Leicester.
But the four-times ranking event winner is aiming to be flying high on and off the green baize.
“My aeroplane went away in February for a full bare metal strip and respray because it is quite old now," said the world number 24.
"It only just came back on Tuesday of this week. With the soaring temperatures, it has been too hot to fly.
It’s like a greenhouse before you even get in it and once you have done your checks it is roasting. Ideally, in this weather, you want to go out at 8pm sort of time when it cools down. I haven’t had a chance to do that yet, so I’m just really looking forward to getting going.
“I want to increase my license and do some more training. I want to do my night rating and things like that to keep building on it.
"It’s a lovely flying school and club at Andrewsfield where my plane is. It’s only ten minutes from my house so it is brilliant to get together with them and work together as a sponsor for me this season.”
The last of Carter's four ranking titles came when he edged out Joe Perry 10-8 to lift the World Open in 2016, but he also lost 10-8 to Stuart Bingham in the 2020 Masters final.
“I’m not far away at all from where I need to be," said Carter.
There are a lot of good players out there and you do need to wait your turn. Just because you are doing the right things doesn’t guarantee that you are going to win. What it does guarantee is you will have the best possible chance.
"When the opportunity does come your way, you’ve done all the work, you have all the tools in the box and you are ready to grasp that chance you have. In the past I’ve been guilty of not doing all the right things and when the opportunity has come I haven’t done the legwork at home to take it.
"That is my goal to be in the 16 and win an event. I have a plan in place to achieve that.”
In the latest Championship League matches, Mark Davis qualified as Group 12 winner with fine 3-0 wins over Billy Castle and Anthony McGill respectively after a 2-2 draw with Yuan Sijun.
18-year-old Chang Bingyu won Group 31 courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Pang Junxu, a 3-1 win over former Championship League winner Luca Brecel and a 3-0 success against Scottish rookie Dean Young.
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